Stay informed about Coronavirus — COVID-19. Learn more
Read the initial return-to-school guidance.

Advanced Placement Exam Fee Subsidy Options

To:District Superintendents, Principals, Guidance Counselors, AP Coordinators
From:Erin Hashimoto-Martell, Director of STEM
Date:March 14, 2018

This memorandum serves as a reminder of the way students may continue to obtain Advanced Placement (AP) exam fee subsidies for the upcoming spring 2018 exams.

  • Title IV, Part A of ESSA: Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (Exam Fee: Determined by district)
    The U.S. Department of Education's AP Test Fee Program ended on June 30, 2016. However, the AP Test Fee Program was consolidated with many other programs under Title IV, Part A, so that districts may continue to provide AP and IB exam fee reductions for underserved students.
  • College Board AP Reduced Exam Fee (Exam Fee: $53)
    The College Board has different eligibility criteria for AP Exam fee reductions, depending on whether a school or district participates in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). You can learn more about the College Board eligibility criteria by visiting their website in late January 2018.
    • Fee subsidy applies to: Reduced fee for all low income students (FRPL)
    • Reporting: Schools report directly to College Board
    • Contact:

  • Mass Insight Education (MIE) partner districts (Exam Fee: $5)
    Economically disadvantaged students in Mass Insight Education (MIE) served districts are also eligible for additional fee reductions for AP exams in STEM and ELA subjects under a provision in the state AP STEM and ELA Program.
    • Fee subsidy applies to: Economically disadvantaged students in Mass Insight Education (MIE) served districts
    • Reporting: Schools report to MIE (MIE reports to MA Department of ESE)
    • Contact: MIE, Wesley Chin,

Thank you for your attention to this matter and for ensuring that all students, especially our traditionally underserved students, have access to rich educational opportunities. If you have any questions about federal funding for AP exam fee reductions, please contact William Bell, Senior Associate Commissioner for Administration and Finance at

AP Fee Subsidy FAQs

What is defined as "economically disadvantaged"?

This measure is based on a student's participation in one or more of the following state-administered programs:

  1. the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
  2. the Transitional Assistance for Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC);
  3. the Department of Children and Families' (DCF) foster care program; and
  4. Eligible MassHealth (Medicaid).
Where does a school find information regarding if a student is designated "economically disadvantaged"?This information can be found in the SIMS file exchange. It is updated 3x/year and there is an end-of-year full report as well.
Who has access to the SIMS file exchange?

Access to security portal applications is managed by each district's one or more Directory Administrators. Security roles can be assigned to individuals at the district level, giving those people access to district-wide information, or at the school level, for checking information pertaining to a school or multiple schools only, but not the entire district.

There is likely school personnel who have access to SIMS at the school level for validation purposes.

Where can I find the criteria for qualification for the College Board's reduced fee?

All students who are designated as "economically disadvantaged" are eligible for the College Board Reduced Fee.

Additional students may qualify even if they are not participating in the four state-administered programs if there is information on family income level.

Complete list of criteria

What about undocumented students?DESE will not be collecting information on students around immigration status. The agency's definition of "economically disadvantaged" is the level of identification and information collected by the agency.

Last Updated: March 14, 2018

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.